Thanks to the efforts of you — community members, elected officials, partners, and customers — in support of critical housing programs that were proposed for elimination in the state budget, the NYS Legislature recently responded by restoring funding to the Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Programs and the Foreclosure Prevention Program. Consequently, we at TRIP and RCHR are grateful that we can continue to provide the array of housing and community services that we do through these programs.
The NYS Foreclosure Prevention Program would have shut down on March 31st, stopping funding for more than a hundred housing counselors and legal services attorneys around the state focused specifically on helping homeowners facing foreclosure. Recent data indicates that the number of foreclosures in NYS will continue to rise, leading NYS legislators to vow their commitment to continuing the program despite the state budget deficit. We are glad to report that an agreement was made between the legislature, Attorney General Schneidermann, and the governor to target $9M from the Attorneys General Foreclosure Settlement Agreement funding to continue the current program for six months, after which time the NYS Attorney General will administer a foreclosure prevention program.
Similarly, the NYS Legislature was very committed to continuing the Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Programs which the governor eliminated in his executive budget. For decades these programs have provided operating support to community-based housing organizations around the state, including TRIP and our sister organization, RCHR, to provide an array of housing programs. Thanks to the community and our state legislators, the legislature restored $14.2M to the Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Programs. As a result, the hundreds of NPCs and RPCs in the state (not-for-profit community-based organizations like TRIP and RCHR) will receive slight increases from last year’s contracts of approximately $55, 000 each so that we can continue providing our services. We would specifically like to thank the Rensselaer County Legislature and the Troy City Council for writing letters of support on behalf of TRIP and RCHR.
We appreciate your phone calls, letters, and emails to the governor and legislators in support of these housing programs. We also thank our legislators for doing the right thing by funding the Foreclosure Prevention Program and the Neighborhood and Rural Housing Programs. If you happen to see our state legislators out and about now that budget season is over, please take the time to thank them on behalf of all of us.